Former NBA player Jeremy Lin (林書豪), a Taiwanese-American, has become a Republic of China (ROC) citizen and received an ROC passport, raising hopes among basketball fans that the 32-year-old might make the national basketball team.
Taipei City Councilor Chung Hsiao-ping (鍾小平), an independent, yesterday confirmed that he had accompanied Lin’s father and Lin’s agent when the father went to apply for Lin’s ROC passport.
“He [Lin] is very willing to represent Taiwan in international games,” Chung said.
Photo courtesy of Taipei City Councilor Chung Hsiao-ping
Chung said that he, Lin’s father and Lin’s agent visited the Ministry of the Interior (MOI) in Taipei to express their gratitude to Minister of the Interior Hsu Kuo-yung (徐國勇) after receiving the passport.
The California-born Lin, a Harvard University graduate who became the first Taiwanese-American to play in the NBA when he was signed by the Golden State Warriors in 2010, made headline news in 2011 and 2012 when as a point guard he helped led the New York Knicks to a series of wins, starting a phenomenon that became known as “Linsanity.”
He is eligible for ROC citizenship because both of his parents were born and raised in Taiwan.
Lin, who has had a journeyman’s career in the NBA, received an NBA championship ring last year as a member of the Toronto Raptors.
In August last, Lin signed with the Beijing Ducks of the Chinese Basketball Association and was instrumental in leading the team to the semi-finals in the 2019-2020 CBA league playoffs that began last month.
Lin had an average of 22.4 points per round, 5.6 rebounds and 5.6 assists during his time with the Ducks.
Lin told Chinese reporters that he would “take a break” before deciding whether he to renew his contract with the Ducks.
The Chinese-language United Daily News yesterday reported that the interior ministry responded to the news of Lin getting an ROC passport by saying that it was the Ministry of Foreign Affairs that issues passports.
If Lin, who does not have a household residency in Taiwan, had applied for an ROC passport, he would have had to follow procedures, although there is a special provision that would allow him to keep his ROC citizenship even if he entered and left the nation multiple times in a year, the interior ministry said.
If Lin wanted to apply for residency, it would observe the same regulations that it follows to help citizens without household registries in this nation, although he would likely be approved according to rules covering the granting of residency to “high-level professionals,” the interior ministry said.
Additional reporting by CNA
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